I currently have the Nikkor AF-S 18-55mm, but I'm looking to upgrade. I know there isn't necessary a "car photography" lens, but I'm looking for more of a 'car advertisement' look. I've heard that wide angle lens would be the better choice. I'm not shooting moving cars or have a standard backdrop. This is just one car in several different locations. Thanks for any help!

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    This is a bit broad - do you have examples of what you mean? Note that most of the 'car advert look' is going to be in the lighting & car prep.
    – Tetsujin
    Nov 16 '18 at 17:17
  • I apologize! I'm unsure exactly on how to explain it. I understand what you mean by prep, but I was looking for a crisp, clean shot that will show the curves and detail of the car. Per say, the depth which is why I assumed the wide angle lens. The lens I have now is a starter lens and it does a pretty good job capturing what I'm looking for, but I want a cleaner look. I apologize for the rambling and unclearness of what I'm wanting. It may have more to do with the settings on camera than lens. I'm still a newbie lol
    – user79047
    Nov 16 '18 at 17:33
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    Actually, I'd be interested in making this a bit more broad in one way. Would you be open to editing this to be "What lens type is best to get a typical 'car advertisement' look?" rather than making it specifically about your particular camera?
    – mattdm
    Nov 16 '18 at 17:39
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    @mattdm, just me, but opening it up so that it's not a shopping question, Nikon, model-, or even lens-specific seems ideal. I'd go for something more like "What do I need to make that car-ad look?" We all know a lens is probably the least of it, and that even just stopping down the kit might work with the right lighting.
    – inkista
    Nov 16 '18 at 22:25

Honestly, I think wide angles are not that great as they will distort the curves and lines of the car. Sometimes you need to use a wide if you are stuck having to shoot close, but it doesn't really create the best car images.

Here is a shot with a 15mm, but as you can see, it is distorted and not really the best representation of the Corvette, but I was limited in the distance I was able to work, so it had to do.

enter image description here

When you have the flexibility of working distance, I definitely like the telephotos like 85mm or even 200mm. Here is a classic Camaro I shot with at 200mm which I feel has better results.

enter image description here

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    Compulsory link to my own very rough attempt at a one-time opportunity - the cars were amazing... I wasn't ;-) photo.stackexchange.com/questions/93129/…
    – Tetsujin
    Nov 16 '18 at 17:32
  • Mansell's car unfortunately rather soft :\. The second car though is a bit better. Need more depth by either smaller apertures or shooting further away then cropping - since you were using a 50mm, changing apertures is not an option. If you were limited in working distance, shooting with a wider lens would yield more depth of field for more sharpness of the cars. Nov 16 '18 at 17:57
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    Sometimes we do what we must. If I was in that situation, I would try to get different focal points and focus stack the image to give an artificial wider depth of field. Nov 16 '18 at 18:15
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    We also had a whole 20 mins before they wanted us out again, so it was flat panic time & 100 cars to see. It wasn't optimal by any stretch of the imagination - but how many times are you going to get to see the entirety of Frank Williams' collection in your lifetime? ;)
    – Tetsujin
    Nov 16 '18 at 18:17
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    Not work, just an opportunity, as a fan, to go to the Williams factory [with 100 other people, all milling around & getting in the way] for a business meeting. More than half the challenge was getting a frame with no-one standing in the way.
    – Tetsujin
    Nov 16 '18 at 18:38

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